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Without Freedom It Is Impossible to Make Moral Choices Essay

  • Submitted by: maishabegum
  • on January 5, 2015
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,845 words

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Below is an essay on "Without Freedom It Is Impossible to Make Moral Choices" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Without freedom it is impossible to make moral choices [35]
In order to assess the claim that without freedom it is impossible to make moral choices, one must first consider the approaches to the concept of free will and determinism whether we in fact possess free moral choice at all.
Secular stances towards free will and determinism are; hard determinism, libertarianism and soft determinism. Free will is the notion in regards to morality. That we have the ability to act upon our volition without being coerced into acting in a certain way then we can say we are to be morally praiseworthy or blameworthy. Free will does not mean complete freedom as this is a concept that does not exist in reality. Free will within the constraints of the laws of nature, laws of society and physiological constraints. For example I cannot become a ballerina because my body is not designed to stretch and jump to a great extent. No amount of practice will change this as I come from a long line of un-athletic women.
Within the secular stance there is hard determinism which is the view that we have no free will at all, it is all but an illusion. This idea directly stems from John Locke (17th Century enlightenment philosopher). Demonstrated by analogy of the locked room, in which he describes a man asleep in a locked room, who, when he awakes, decides to stay there. Although he believes he is using his free will to make this decision, in reality, he could not have done otherwise because the door is actually locked - "he has not the freedom to be gone." Real freedom is more than simply feeling free; we must be able to act on our choices. This position was furthered by Clarence Darrow, in his legal defence of Loeb and Leopold in 1920’s America. Darrow managed to reduce the punishment from death penalty to life imprisonment by stating they are a product of their environment. In other words they should not be punished for the crimes they commit, as they do not possess free will and,...

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